The LA Galaxy recently came to DC to play DC United and completely turned the city into a soccer frenzy. I would say that DC has a large amount of soccer fans, I’m sure very comparable to most cities that have MLS teams, but with Beckham in the area it was all everyone was talking about. Now, a week later, soccer is only mentioned by its regular fans and football is all people are talking about. I just saw a few Beckham and Reggie Bush videos on you tube titled, futbol meets football, Video The videos are very well done and are a great way to link the two sports. It’s made me wonder whether Beckham coming to the states will grow the sport of soccer or will the US always be more of a football country. What does everyone think?
MLS has been making steady progress since it’s inception and Beckham coming is but one more (large) step along the path. Besides Beckham himself, the “Beckham Rule” also means further bumps to the notoriety of the league by bringing in other players like Denilson to FC Dallas. Probably the biggest impact of Beckham and company though will be that more of the kids growing up playing soccer now (tons of them) will stay interested in playing and following the sport as they grow up, which has been a problem in the past.
So it looks good for the league to become “major” in more than just name before long and possibly climb up to world class. Still, the US will definitely be more of an american football country for the foreseeable future, but “always” is a long time.
I think I’m in the minority in thinking that soccer is here to stay as a professional sport, Beckham or no Beckham. I see it knocking off hockey as one of the Big Four. Fundamentally, it’s too great a game for this country to ignore, not to mention that it’s the most-played youth sport in America. I think the MLS is going in the right direction by making teams build soccer-specific stadiums.
Here in Massachusetts, the Revolution are drawing about 15,000 fans to the typical game (there were over twice that for the Beckham game). The team is bound to be making money there, which is what counts. The owners are looking into building their soccer-specific stadium here in Boston, maybe even a quarter mile from where I’m now sitting. That immediately puts a lot more fans within easy reach of the stadium. Say what you will about Gillette Stadium, it’s a bit of a trek for most of us.
The other thing is, in Boston at least, it’s difficult and expensive to get tickets to the Red Sox, Celtics, or Bruins. I think the Revolution will get a certain amount of spillover from people who just want to go on an outing of some kind, but can’t get tickets to anything else. By being in town, you’ll get more corporate outings as well.
Beckham had a pretty good draw in DC, but that is normally the best/one of the best drawing teams in MLS. The amazing turn out was in New York/New Jersey, where the Red Bulls drew more than there previous five games combined, putting about 67,000 butts in Giants Stadium. The atmosphere was supposed to have been incredible, including the match, which turned out 5-4 for the homeside, with Beckham involved in 3 of the 4 Galaxians goals. Jozy Altidore, who is a lot of fun to watch, was supposedly the best player on the field that night. He is seventeen years old.
We’ll be football for a long time, but soccer will possibly become more popular than it is today. I think we’ll need a home-grown star to really get things going, but Beckham is helping (providing he doesn’t pull what he’s doing to Colorado very often).
Recent joke on late-night TV: “Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states. But it’s still a more popular sport than soccer.”
Frankly, I don’t see the appeal of this ‘sport’.
One of the things that distinguishes humans from most of the dumb animal species is possessing hands with opposable thumbs. This has contributed a lot to tool-building, intelligence, and the development of our civilization.
Yet in soccer, players are not allowed to use their hands! Seems like soccer is deliberately making participants play sub-human. What’s the point? Possibly as a Special Olympics event for thalidomide babies, OK. But as an event for fit, conditioned athletes – why? Makes no sense to me.
I have to say, as a Gillingham supporter who is off to watch them play Luton Town today, that t-bonham may have a point.
Because opposable thumbs make games like (American) football and rugby appear (I emphasise “appear”) too easy, to the casual viewer. Anybody can pick up a ball and run with it, right? Whereas the skill of people like Diego Maradona, who could direct a ball past eight people using only his feet and a few body swerves, is obvious.
ETA: Also, there’s something aesthetically pleasing about rolling balls, which is lacking in games that use egg-shaped balls.
Maybe they should consider that for a motto:
“Soccer - It’s the balls!”
And as Ipswich host the ever-delightful Palace, I think it’s only fair to point out that t-bonham’s evolution-of-opposable-thumb argument is talking about players, not supporters.
Semi-ironically posted by GorillaMan, I see.
It was definitely a good turn out in DC. I wanted to go but it sold out right away! And that ended up being the first game he played in. I would have liked to be there. Wow, amazing numbers at the Red Bulls game… has anyone had a chance to see him play??
Feh. We got the same hype back in the seventies when Pele came along.
And Pele actually played in the games his team had scheduled, unlike Mr. Spice.